London based artist, Mr Papa Kwame Amponsa known famously as Mista Silva has currently been taking the Afrobeats music scene by storm. With hits such as Bo Won Sem Ma Me, Wadi Mi Sika and his most recent smash hit Boom Boom Tah, this year is looking very promising for the rising star.
June 24th sees the release of his new EP entitled Full Vim, which features collaborations from some of the best Afrobeats artists in the game right now. In association with the EP, Mista Silva will be having a launch party which will feature live performances from Fuse ODG, girl band Dzama Girls and his UK collective.
The EP proves to Afrobeats lovers just how talented and versatile Mista Silva is, as he cultivates his love for music into this amazing body of work.
Mista Silva created a hype around his name when he started off as a funky house MC, and then changed his style of music after a visit to Ghana a few years ago, since his energy and explosive lyrics have had his name rolling off every Afrobeat lovers tongue.
Since this successful transition he has worked alongside the likes of Ghanaian Afrobeats artists Stay Jay, known famously for his track Shashewo, as well as Keche, and Atumpan. UK based group Vibe Squad are also on his impressive music C.V. He is part of a collective which features Flava, Kwamz, Skob, A Star and C-Don, who are the main guys behind the success of his smash hit singles.
2012 has been a very busy year for Mista Silva, having been interviewed by one of the best DJ’s in the music industry; Tim Westwood himself. His songs added to the playlists at Choice Fm and BBC 1xtra which is a great achievement as Afrobeats slowly builds a repertoire around the globe.
Mista Silva will be opening Wiz Kid’s concert this June with his UK Collective, and just recently was added to Radio 1’s Hackney Weekender. It’s non-stop for him so make sure you stay tuned for more news and buy his EP on 24 June.
Ace & Vis say: ‘He’s The one to rave the Afrobeats flag in the UK’.
Tim Westwood says: ‘He’s the hottest UK Afrobeats artitst at the moment’.
The EP will add the extra ‘VIM’ to the rise of Afrobeats music worldwide.
Kwame Amponsa-Yeboah who goes by the stage name of Mr Silva is a British born Ghanaian artist killing the Afrobeats scene at the moment. With Afrobeats at its peak Mr Silva alongside A-star, Flava and Kwamz took the scene to a whole different level last year when they produced a remix cover to the popular Muju Baya track by 5five. ‘Bo Wo Sem Ma Mi’ which went viral on social media attracting over 100,000 views on YouTube and was dubbed The Official Ghana In the Parks Anthem 2011.
I caught up with Mr Silva at his video shoot for his new song ‘Boom Boom Tah’ to find out more about his newly released clothing line, his recent trip to Ghana and what he has planned for Ghana 55th Independence which is fast approaching.
Me Firi Ghana: For the people who do not know who you are, tell us a bit about yourself and how started out?
Mr Silva: I started doing music seriously from the age of about 14 and was part of a crew called the Millitant soldiers which unfortunately split up after a short period of time. Then in 2008 me, C-don, Jr Silva, Zion Silva and Mikeal Silva formed an events and entertainment group called Fresh 2 Def Entertainments where we were officially known as the Silva family. Whilst holding our own events we (C-Don and I) would also perform at them, which generally got our name out there. Having the grime background we then progressed into the funky genre where we have produced tracks such as “if you are on this let me know” and “10 out of 10” which went crazy in the raves.
In 2011 I decided to venture into the Afrobeats scene and being a Ghanaian I thought why not try it out. Linking up with Flava, Kwamz and A-star, we released the “Bo Wo Sem Ma Mi” track which received a very good response and it kind of just took off from there. The Afrobeats genre is definitely an area I am looking to do big things in.
Me Firi Ghana: You have clearly made your stamp in the Afrobeats scene, so is the funky genre chapter closed or do you have plans to go back?
Mr Silva: It’s something which we still do but at the moment just trying to work on new projects. We still have a lot of people who support us from the funky circuit and often get questions on when we are going to release another funky track. There are talks of maybe putting a couple of tracks out there as it is important for us not to forget the fans, but for the mean time my main focus is certainly Afrobeats.
Me Firi Ghana: Ghanaian artist to feature….
Mr Silva: For me, the influence of the Ghanaian culture has definitely played a huge part in my music. Whenever I would write lyrics my main objective is to cater for the Ghanaian people in the UK and also connect with them by incorporating the Ghanaian language (twi). With the lingo it highlights the Ghanaian roots of many of us, as I can guarantee a large majority of British born Ghanaian youths understand the language and if they don’t they will understand certain phrases in my tracks. I also try and cater for a wider audience, the people who are not necessarily Ghanaian as I like to mix and match with the pigeon English, UK slang, and the English language so everyone can listen and fully enjoy a Mr Silva track.
Me Firi Ghana: Did you ever think you were going to blow up as big as you are now from your first Afrobeat song?
Mr Silva: It feels like hard work has paid off. I am a strong believer in God and feel that whatever you do in life you need God to be involved. He is the one that knows what you are going to do before you do it, and if you ask for his help, however long it may take, just know God would always will see you through and to be honest that is what happened with me. In my case, I have been pursuing the music career for so long and sometimes felt as if I wasn’t progressing. Even though people were like ‘you are good’ I knew I had so much more to give. It’s funny because before I released the video I prayed to God for the track to be successful, now months later I have got a second track being released this week and its all thanks to God. Also, not forgetting the rest of the guys, A-Star, Flava and Kwamz, who all played a major part and contributed to the success.
Me Firi Ghana: If Afrobeats had not taken the UK by storm last year, do you think you would have jumped on it?
Mr Silva: I always had in mind that one day I would do an Afrobeats song – I was just waiting for the right moment. If you listen to some of my funky house mixes you can occasionally hear traces of tribal sounds which are African influenced, so Afrobeats no doubt was on the cards.
Me Firi Ghana: You talk about the funky genre having influences from Africa. Of late there have been discussions on whether Afrobeats now are sounding more reggae influenced, what are your views on this?
Mr Silva: Certain artists I have to admit do give that reggae appeal but I just think bottom line all types of music are influenced from each other. However saying that, most of the big tunes, hip hop songs and simple beat patterns all originate from Africa and just to point out that the people from the Caribbean mostly derive from Africa, so Afrobeats may sometimes have that reggae influence but overall you would always hear that fundamental sound from Africa.
Me Firi Ghana: Not too long ago you came back from Ghana where you did a couple of shows, first of all how was it and how did the crowd respond to you?
Mr Silva: First of all Ghana was LIVE! Ghana is the place to be in December. I performed at Bojo beach and people out there loved it as watching foreign artists doing what they do was something new for them. For a long time the trend for Ghana artists was to act and sound either English or American, so for us to go out there and to embrace my Ghanaian culture took them by surprise but in a good way. Ghanaians showed us so much love, the vibe from the people were sick, the shows were sick, interviews on the radio were sick and was certainly a beneficial trip.
Me Firi Ghana: Coming back from Ghana can we expect anything influenced from your trip?
Mr Silva: In my new video you will definitely see a lot of influences from the dancing showing the people what is going on back home. When I was there I got to see the real thing and learn how to Azonto properly. Musically I worked with some of the Ghanaian artists such as Keche, Gasmilla, Atumpan, Stay-Jay so look out for them.
Me Firi Ghana: You have recently released a clothing line called Eybaabaa, tell us a bit more?
Mr Silva: Currently we have released the Eybaabaa brand under Black Stars who are the people who have done the Azonto t-shirts. We are in partnership with them and at the moment people can purchase their very own Eybaabaa t-shirt and jumpers.
Me Firi Ghana: What made you go down the t-shirt clothing line route, because we have got ‘Dench’, ‘Why me’ and now ‘Eybaabaa’?
Mr Silva: I did a bit of research on Twitter and there has been a demand for the Eybaabaa clothing line.
Me Firi Ghana: Yeah because I have seen on Twitter where loads of people have #Eybaabaa
Mr Silva: We have had a lot of people tweeting about it and the support from them has been phenomenon.
Me Firi Ghana: So what does Eybaabaa mean?
Mr Silva: There is no meaning to it you know (both laugh), it’s something that just came to me one time on one of my tracks and people started saying it. Not taking much notice of it, I stopped saying and then I got people who wanted me to actually say it so I thought cool let me give my fans what they want to hear.
Me Firi Ghana: With Ghanaian independence being celebrated this weekend, you will be performing at the Proud 02, what can people on the evening expect from you?
Mr Silva: A show filled with energy, passion and from the heart. I make sure once I touch the stage it’s nothing but the best so for everyone coming be prepared.
Me Firi Ghana: For 2012 what can we look forward to?
Mr Silva: Expect to see loads more videos, more collaborations, I have got my Afrobeats mix tape coming out at the end of March, my birthday celebration ‘silver bunnies’, so look out because big things are definitely going to happen.
Me Firi Ghana: If people want to follow or find out more about you, how could they do so?
Mr Silva: You can follow me on twitter @MrF2DSilva, check out the facebook Kay Silva Amponsa, you can hit me up on the Soundcloud at Fresh2Def entertainments and youtube F2D TV or Wise TV.
Make sure you check out the Exclusive freestyle below: